Grand Central, Miami
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Better Than: Yes. No. Maybe.
Cut Copy's Dan Whitford really gets into his music. His voice is always studio quality, as he pumps his fist and jabs the air with every beat. It's hard not to follow his lead.
That's a common element of every Cut Copy show we've seen so far -- along with tight instrumentation and crowd sing-alongs. The Aussie outfit's shows are never boring.
But before getting into Cut Copy's performance, we must highlight Classixx's opening set. The duo's Michael David and Tyler Blake kicked off with "I'll Get You" -- which, WTF, ballsy to get your biggest hit out of the way. Other highlights included a live rendition of their remix of YACHT's "Psychic City," as well as "Holding On" and "All You're Waiting For."
Most of the vocals were pre-recorded, but the pair did employ live instrumentation, which provided for some improvisation. Either way, Hanging Gardens is a superb album, and if you haven't listened to it, check it out.
Now back to Cut Copy, currently on the road to promote new album, Free Your Mind. The show's atmosphere reflected the band's new experimentation with '90s house and psychedelic rock. A white sheet served as a minimalistic backdrop that was quickly saturated with colors and visuals and the command to "free your mind."
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Kicking off with "We Are Explorers" -- which sounds a bit like Depeche Mode's "Enjoy the Silence," but, you know, fun -- the band had the crowd hooked from the get-go. The setlist focused a bit on the latest release, but without ignoring classic cuts from Zonoscope and In Ghost Colours.
"Take Me Over" had everyone singing "ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-a!" in unison, which prompted Whitford to proclaim that the Miami show was his favorite of the tour so far. (We're convinced most bands say this at every stop during a tour, but somehow it sounded sincere coming from Whitford.) Of course, everyone ate it up.
By the time Cut Copy played "Hearts On Fire," we thought the roof was going to blow off Grand Central.
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Our favorite song performed live? "Out There on the Ice," which in our opinion might be the band's best ever. (If you read our 2011 review, you'd already know this.) It was great seeing that cut in the middle of the set where it got the the crowd so pumped up.
This was preceded by "Feel the Love," which was performed just as it appears on record, bleeding into "Out There," replicating the transition between tracks from In Ghost Colours.
New songs fared better than expected. Some might say Free Your Mind was a bit of dud in comparison to the band's previous efforts. (We think the album works better with repeat listens -- it's a grower, not a shower.) But the songs really come alive in a live setting.
While "Let Me Show You Love" had us wishing we had dropped acid, it was "Meet Me in a House of Love" that really packed a punch. The house-y loop and horns just give the track an infectious beat that's hard to get out of your head.
Meanwhile, during the encore, "Walking in the Sky" slowed things down. The indie-rock ballad begs for lighters up, but no one else at Grand Central seemed to agree as the crowd just swayed side to side. One day, guys.
But we cannot conclude this review without mentioning some glaring omissions: Where the hell were "Corner of the Sky," "Far Away," and "Pharaohs & Pyramids"?
By the Way: To the drunk girl passed out four songs deep into Cut Copy's performance, we just want you to know you're the basic-est of bitches. Sloppy and amateur.
Personal Bias: Seen Cut Copy live seven times now. Never not going to like a Cut Copy show.
Cut Copy's Setlist:
-"We Are Explorers"
-"Take Me Over"
-"Free Your Mind"
-"Where I'm Going"
-"Hearts On Fire"
-"Take Me Higher"
-"Feel the Love"
-"Out There on the Ice"
-"Let Me Show You Love"
-"Meet Me in a House of Love"
-"Lights & Music"
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-"Walking in the Sky"
-"Need You Now"
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